A community presence in Orange County since the California Gold Rush, YMCA of Orange County remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult-fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and a full gymnasium outfitted with equipment for basketball, martial arts, and rope skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness center with free weights, cardio equipment, and rowing machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during Zumba and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, afterschool programs, and youth basketball.
EZPiano owner Sue Dibble believes that music lessons should be customized to the needs of each student. That's why she and her team of instructors use an array of techniques, blending aspects of teaching methods such as Suzuki and Kodály to engage each individual. Lessons generally include both sight-reading exercises and listening exercises that help develop an ear for pitch. In addition to creating a fun, constructive environment, the school's programs are designed to produce measurable, tangible progress. As a member of the Music Teachers' Association of California, or MTAC, Sue can register students for Certificate of Merit (CM) tests.
A team of instructors with international professional experience leads classes that range from ballet and tap lessons to hip-hop dance and Zumba. The course list includes options for diverse age groups and experience levels, such as pre-ballet and tap lessons for ages 3–6 and ballet pointe for students with more than two years of ballet experience.
If there's one thing Joyce Wang has mastered in her 15-year career as a private music instructor, it's keeping beginners entertained as they learn the basics. Regardless of his or her experience level, Joyce arms each student with the proper books and tools?metronomes, piano-key neckties for at-home practice?as they learn piano-playing technique and how to interpret classical music, jazz, or pop. She also teaches music theory and prepares her students for the Certificate of Merit exam, a nationally recognized test that verifies a child's participation in a music-based extracurricular program for review by colleges.
With only two years of piano lessons under her belt, 9-year-old Kim Gardner was talented enough to perform for the National Federation of Music. Other instruments come just as naturally to her—now in her 30s, she's taught voice, guitar, and piano for more than seven years. Along with a team of equally experienced instructors, Kim teaches students through The Music Adobe, named for its personalized private lessons that take place inside students' homes. The experienced instructors have all been carefully screened and selected to ensure the highest quality of music education and experience possible. The Music Abode's personalized approach and open teaching philosophy allows instructors to tailor instruction to each individual's different style of learning.
For beginners, Kim and the team imparts the fundamentals by honing in on skills such as sight-reading and playing basic chords. With intermediate and advanced students, they focuses on more complex symphony pieces, and suggests ways to avoid laughing at conductors when they start waving their little sticks. They prepares every student to participate in semiannual recitals, where pupils can show off their newfound chops for family and friends.
After only two years of playing the Suzuki violin, 6-year-old Australian native Hannah Reid played her first concert: a Suzuki graduation at the Sydney Opera House. It would be the first of many concerts and instruments to come: by high school, Hannah was well versed not only in violin, but flute, piano, and singing. Since graduating from Australia's prestigious Sydney Conservatorium of Music, she's continued honing her musical chops by playing both classical and rock music.
At Reid Music Academy, Hannah draws on her lifelong musical passion—as well as 15-plus years as a teacher—to instruct students of all ages in a plethora of musical skills. Whether her pupils want to learn classical piano melodies or improvise jazz solos on the sax, Hannah tailors each piano, voice, and woodwind lesson to her students' favorite musical styles. Besides instruments, Hannah teaches music theory, songwriting, and performance skills, which helps students overcome stage fright more effectively than training kids to play blindfolded their entire life.